Regulation of Gatherings Bill Tabled

Parliament

A bill designed to amend the Regulation of Gatherings Act has been tabled in parliament.

The Regulation of Gatherings Amendment Bill, a private member’s bill, was drafted by Anton Alberts, a Freedom Front Plus member of parliament.

The bill seeks to amend the act in order to prohibit protests outside schools as well as other institutions of learning and care in order to give effect to the rights enshrined in section 28(2) of the constitution.

The bill aims to amend the Regulation of Gatherings Act of 1993, in order to:

•    prohibit protests outside schools, outside places that provide an early childhood development programme and outside child and youth care centres, except for certain prescribed causes;
•    empower the Minister to make regulations in respect of those causes for which permission may be granted; and
•    provide for matters connected therewith.
According to the bill’s explanatory summary published in June 2018, it will provide for the following:
•    all demonstrations or gatherings in the vicinity of a building in which a school or institution of learning and care is situated, on every week day (Saturdays, Sunday and public holidays are included in the prohibition) are prohibited except for certain people and certain causes which will be prescribed in regulations;
•    the responsible officer appointed in terms of the Act may not grant permission to hold a gathering or demonstration outside the above-mentioned places, except to prescribed applicants for a prescribed cause; and
•    the Minister of Safety and Security may, after consultation with the Minister of Education and approval by Parliament, make regulations in regard to the causes and applicants that may be given permission, and in regard to the procedure to be followed when requesting permission to hold a gathering or demonstration outside the above-mentioned places.

The portfolio committee on police will now process the bill.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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